Overfishing

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Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story in...
A public service announcement uses a dramatic example to emphasize that ocean...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute...
A new wave of farming has come to the ocean. It’s called aquaculture. And it’s...

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What would happen if we let our fear of sharks lead people to kill them all? This is the question Joe Hanson asks in this video from PBS Digital Studios. Find out about how the removal of sharks affects the food web, ecosystem...
Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast,...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...

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by Caty Fairclough Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet...
This is North Atlantic right whale #3333 who was spotted with fishing gear trailing from his mouth during an aerial survey off the coast of Georgia on January 29, 2008. Entanglement is one of the...
Calling all fans of Bravo's "Top Chef" reality show: the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program is hosting Demystifying Seafood , a wine and dine event at the National Museum of Natural History on...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
The Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery scoops up a lot of unwanted fish along with the shrimp. For every pound of shrimp caught, more than 4 pounds of other fish species were caught as bycatch and...
A public service announcement uses a dramatic example to emphasize that ocean fish aren’t as big as they used to be. Find out more about the decline in the ocean's top -- and often large -- predators...
Millions of sharks are caught each year for their dorsal fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Top predators like sharks are important to maintaining biodiversity, and their removal can have...
"Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year, often only for their fins. I have wrestled with how to take pictures of dead sharks that resonate with readers. One morning, I jumped into the sea in...
In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's surface, things happen slowly. Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) , deep ocean fish that were once known as "slimeheads...
Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained, they can feed millions of people, generate jobs and income, help maintain long-standing community and cultural traditions,...
In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of...
Tuna caught in the Indian Ocean show the huge scale of commercial fishing. More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable Seafood feature story.
Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven...
This sea lion has been caught in killed in a giant drift net, or a “curtain of death,” as photographer Tom Woodward calls them. These giant drift nets, placed around the world’s oceans to catch...
Who should fear whom? Less than ten humans are killed by shark attacks. Yet millions of sharks are killed each year by humans. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark...
Seafood vendor at historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington (USA). The market draws both shoppers and gawkers who come to watch the gregarious crew of fishmongers.
A fishing line with bait on the hook intended for tuna and other big fish is also a tasty snack for other animals such as this albatross, which drowned after being accidentally caught on a longline...
In the early 1990s, the annual commercial harvest of Atlantic bluefin tuna doubled, reaching a peak of 25 kilograms (55 million pounds). More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable...
This photo of a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna lewini ) , was taken in 2006 on a long-lined fishing boat in Cocos Island, 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Costa...
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